Twitter is Gonna Be Big

I know, I know… Twitter is already big.

Hard to overlook the obvious:

  • Twitter is the fastest growing social network in 2012
  • More than 500 million worldwide users (about 150 million in the U.S.)
  • 73% of the Fortune 500 have a Twitter accounts
  • 750 tweets per second
  • More than 50 million tweets per day

Yet, I don’t think Twitter has arrived.  But it’s coming close.  I recently visited the Twitter headquarters in San Francisco with a group of my fellow digital and social media leaders.

I left impressed.  Really impressed.

Here’s why:

  • Unlike other social networks that seem to wing it, Twitter has an organized vision.  They understand their platform at its essence and build on its strengths while at the same time shoring up the network’s weakness.  They may drink the Kool-Aid at Twitter, but it’s more deluded with reality than you will find at many other hot Silicon Valley/West Coast companies.
  • Twitter’s platform is flexible and versatile.  I like the direction they are moving in with the tweet being the headline.  The tweet can stand alone or it can be expanded.  You will be able to fully embed articles, blog posts, applications, and videos (even live broadcasts) right into a tweet.  The tweet is like a telegram that can open up into a broadcast studio.  This means Twitter can remain an instant news and information stream or it can be a place to park and explore.
  • Twitter is open.  Every tweet is a web page that can be created, catalog, searched, and found.  It’s part of the Internet.  Unlike so many other social networks, it isn’t a sub-domain hidden behind firewalls.
  • The closer you look at Twitter – the more amazing it is.  It’s where news breaks: from Steve Jobs’ death to the killing of Osama bin Laden.  You can experience actual correspondence from the president of the U.S. to the Catholic pope.  You can find space photographs from Mars to inside information on professional sports from the athletes who play them.  You can read tweets that make you bust out laughing to others that strike a deep emotional chord.  Twitter is the world unfolding in front of you.
  • Twitter is fun – addicting fun.

What’s your Twitter story?  Do you love it?  Hate it?  What’s Twitter mean to you?


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6 Responses to “Twitter is Gonna Be Big”

  1. Some good observations and numbers, George. I have this image of a tour through the Twitter HQ…

  2. No one speaks in complete sentences there… 😉

  3. “Twitter is open.” – this is a big thing for sure. Twitter: “humankind’s digital conscience and reality log”. However, just as Google releases the Android code as open source, I believe “open source” will be the future of Social Networks – but it is too early to tell what this will look like. Twitter is my favorite, for sure for this reason: you can follow your interests while at the same time get a bigger view.

  4. Hi Stuart:
    That’s an interesting perspective. I’ve been wondering that myself. Would platforms like Facebook be more successful if they were open source and owned by a community rather than a corporation? I think the answer is probably yes.

  5. Excellent list! Thanks.

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